St Thomas Aquinas
Class of 2022
Interned With Goodwin Weber PLLC On A Case Of National Importance
Collaborated With Top Law Professors & Experts To Prepare My Client For Trial
Advocated For My Client On Capitol Hill To Congressmen, Senators & Congressional Officials
Patronizing Behavior and Harassment
The client testified in an internal investigation at his agency that the most senior management in his agency engaged in misconduct, or were witnesses to misconduct, and did not report the incidence nor intervene. Since cooperating with internal investigators, this client has been subjected to repeated retaliation and reprisal from the highest levels of his agency, harming his promotion potential and day-to-day life as a supervisory law enforcement officer.
We met with Senators, Representatives and congressional staff members to advocate for our client. We explained to congressional members how our client has been treated unfairly and has been subject to harassment and patronizing behavior within the FBI. We also explained the accommodations that our client has and how the FBI's behavior was not in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
In total, three Senators, eight Representatives, and eighteen congressional staff members spoke directly with students about the case our client has now filed against the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our objective was to direct congressional attention to the Americans with Disabilities Act, specifically the section concerning the provisions disabled employees are entitled to and should be awarded. This case is currently seeking further legal action and is likely to proceed to litigation this November.
For a client suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Patronizing Behavior
We worked with lead attorney David P. Weber to examine complex case documents, explore legal precedent, conduct thorough legal research, and advocate for our client on Capitol Hill.
We worked to prepare documents and advocacy plans for our client, a former employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
As a team, we gained valuable real-life experience as we worked on what could be a historic case for people who have accommodations.
As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we focused our efforts on harassment and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act within the FBI.
Case Research & Preparation
After meeting with our client, David P. Weber and his team taught us how to conduct basic direct and cross-examinations.
Throughout the week, we learned relevant direct and cross-examination techniques in order to conduct beneficial examinations of the client.
Through discussing the case with the client, we learned how to effectively research and prepare for harassment cases.
We met with our client in order to hear his side of the story. When meeting with him, we learned about our client’s personal background and employment history within the FBI, as well as the perceived harassment within the FBI itself.
The client then went on to describe how the harassment occurred and the specific factors of harassment he faced after the event. He went into detail on how workplace harassment is currently impacting his life, and how he hopes his case will make a difference and change government policies.
Case Advocacy On Capitol Hill
Throughout the internship, we were trained in effective ways to advocate on Capitol Hill and prepared for our congressional audience by developing solid briefing materials. The focus of the materials and the overall messaging of the meeting was on improving working conditions for employees in the Federal Bureau of Investigations and advocating on behalf of the client.
Legal research and evidence of harassment that our client has endured were presented to Congressional Representatives and Senators. We highlighted the facts of our client’s harassment that the FBI is experiencing around the country.
Meeting with multiple members of Congress allowed us to demonstrate the importance of our client’s case. For many, it helped show them that the issue of Harassment in the FBI is an issue that their constituents care about. By advocating for our client, we fulfilled a civic duty and showed our representatives that this is an issue that needs to be addressed within the FBI and the country.
Being able to advocate and experience Capitol Hill on the inside with such access offered a new perspective for everyone on the team. Most people do not get to meet with representatives in this way.
The most valuable lesson we learned through advocating for our client and meeting representatives was how much we can accomplish together.
Oral Argument Preparation at the American University Law Center
At the end of the week, we presented our research findings to the client at the American University Washington College of Law's Moot Courtroom. The team had prepared direct and cross-examinations which were helpful in setting a good precedent in our client’s case. The team had been conducting research throughout the week, as well as meeting with experts in order to learn how to present our findings.
The presentations were set up to resemble an appellate court system. Our team sat at the counsel table and each of us presented our arguments at the podium. Our team was given thirty minutes to present arguments and ten minutes to receive feedback from David P. Weber.
We played a crucial part in the legal strategy of our client's case. In future legal action, the arguments made during this presentation will be considered as they strongly pertain to the client's case.
After the presentation of arguments, the client stated that he felt relieved to have such thorough research and advocacy completed on his behalf.
The Case To End
In Our Lives.
This case has the potential to establish legal precedent in favor of those with disabilities who face discrimination in the workplace, whether it is within the FBI or in another field.
If our case is successful, this case will be used to ensure equal pay, equal evaluations and equal promotions for millions of people with disabilities who work within the United States government. Thus, forever changing how those with disabilities may advance in our society.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
John Doe vs. FBI will be going to trial this November. From our work with the client, he is now fully prepared for this trial.
With this case proceeding to further legal action, the client is focusing on finding a new place of employment and recovering from the harassment he faced.
The client continues to advocate for other FBI employees working to ensure they are treated fairly and have a support network within the organization
Due to the success of the internship summit, program sponsors will be expanding the program to fund whistleblower cases that affect the national discourse.
Leading high school students from across the United States will be able to work directly on cases that impact the nation for years to come.
Goodwin Weber PLLC Internship
Our team interned for Goodwin Weber PLLC. We worked with top attorney David P. Weber and focused our efforts on a harassment case brought against the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
As a team, we read through many complex case documents and created direct and cross-examinations.
Our team meet with several key congressional officials to gain support for our client and fight against harassment and discrimination. We created briefings for congress members and staff so they could clearly grasp the unfair treatment our client is facing.
Since this case is ongoing, we have to opportunity to return next summer to continue our internship with Goodwin Weber PLLC and help our client find justice with his fight against workplace harassment.
In the final presentation, we presented Goodwin Weber PLLC with direct and cross-examinations that would prove helpful in preparing our client for trial.
Internship Program Highlights
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To See Each Highlight
Police Officer Case Review
Law Firm Internship
National Re-Entry Panel
After our congression visits, many congressional staff members followed up about our client’s case against the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Congressional representatives acknowledged their commitment to ending workplace discrimination and committed to supporting legislation based on the outcome of our client’s case. Direct advocacy on Capitol Hill is one of the most powerful and advantageous ways to advance and impact legislative policy priorities.
As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we became immersed in the facts of our client’s workplace harassment case against the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
By the end of our internship, we were uniquely qualified to communicate with Congress about effective policies to combat discrimination in the workplace.
We pushed lawmakers to publicly support our client and left them with all the tools and information necessary for them to create an informed opinion.
Legal Expert Panel
William R. (Billy) Martin is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Barnes & Thornburg. As one of the top trial attorneys in the U.S., Billy represents corporations and leading individuals in politics, sports and entertainment, and he has tried more than 150 jury trials across the country. He is a member of the firm's Litigation Department and the White Collar Practice Group.
William R. (Billy) Martin
William R. (Billy) Martin
William R. (Billy) Martin
Partner at Barnes & Thornburg
Former General Inspector For the CIA
Public Defender Service
Assistant U.S. Attorney for Washington DC
Daniel Seikaly was the associate deputy attorney general in the executive office for national security and an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. Before the DOJ he was an assistant inspector general for investigations for the CIA. Daniel was also a law professor at the University of Michigan School of Law and Antioch Law School.
Dan Pond is a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Dan works in the Prisoners & Re-Entry Legal Services Program, where he specializes in parole release hearings, termination hearings for DC parole, Bureau of Prisons classification, designation and sentence computation, and sentencing advocacy in DC
Law Enforcement Panel
Two District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Officers visited to discuss how local government and law enforcement officials work in the nation's capital. The discussion was delivered by experienced senior police officers who brought a wealth of theoretical and practical knowledge to enhance our understanding of the law.
We learned about topics such as civil and criminal law, human rights, the distinctions between state, federal, and local laws, felonies and misdemeanors, and other facets of the legal system. We were even briefed on crime scene and homicide investigations. We now have a better understanding of the justice system and ethical and political issues associated with policing.
National Re-Entry Panel
Courtney Stewart who chairs the National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens in Washington, D.C. is a prison reform advocate who was released from prison in 1985.
Courtney exposed our team to the idea of the school-to-prison pipeline and the ‘War on Drugs’ that targets black men, women, and children, to a greater extent than others in our society.
Listening to the returning citizens speak out about their experiences and gave our team a deeper understanding of how important it is that all people are properly represented in the court of law.
Courtney's Vision is to reinvest in safe and healthy communities, create more living-wage jobs, permanent housing and economic self-sufficiency for returning citizens.
He brought with him recently released inmates who spoke out about their criminal history and their life before, during, and after prison.